Issue #16 - The 4 Step Process to Remove the Psychological Chains of Money
Welcome to the latest issue of The Qi of Self-Sovereignty. The newsletter exploring what it means to be free in an increasingly not-so-free world.
Whether you're looking to locate your authentic self or investigate sovereignty, you're in the right place! Each week, with just a few minutes of reading, I aim to expand your awareness through a quote and a piece of content that made me go hmm...
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“Don’t limit your challenges; challenge your limits.” - Jerry Dunn
I'm willing to bet that you don't think twice about money from the perspective of building future security and freedom. Yet, the thought of money's effect on your psyche has probably never crossed your mind.
That said, I'm sure I am not alone when I say that my upbringing instilled certain monetary beliefs which have definitely shaped who I am and how I spend my money.
Although most of these beliefs have provided immense value, some have impeded my happiness and, at times, produced anxiety.
One such belief is that frivolousness is a sign of weakness and frugality should always be front of mind.
As a result, I have been incredibly conscious of where I spend my money. In the past if I let my impulses govern my actions, I would feel great internal shame and anguish.
With this realization, I have spent a lot of time looking inward as to why I feel the sensations and feelings I do.
Along this inner journey, I have grown in leaps and bounds regarding my internal feelings toward money. However, I did not necessarily realize this until a friend recommended one particularly insight talk...
Insightful Content which made me go, hmm...
That talk, which helped me to better understand my own personal monetary journey, was a between Dan Harris and Spencer Sherman on Ten Percent Happier.
Although I had not heard of Spencer before this talk, I truly valued his takes on money and wanted to share a few which I have been unknowingly practicing.
Summarizing Spencer's comments...
Many of us have underlying monetary beliefs. However, for most we are completely unaware.
With this in mind, there is a step-by-step process for uncovering and working through these beliefs. This is the process of RAIN.
Recognition, acceptance, investigation and non-attachment.
Let's dig in...
The first step to any form of growth is recognition and awareness. In this case, we want to raise awareness of how we feel around money.
How do you feel when purchasing big-ticket items?
Do you notice any psychobiological reactions while spending money?
Are there situations which are particularly triggering?
By running these questions through our minds and raising awareness of any circulating thoughts or sensations, we can tap into any fixed or limiting beliefs lurking below the surface.
Once we have recognized the thoughts, feelings and emotions associated with certain monetary practices, the next step is...
As we explored in the previous issue of this newsletter, by simply accepting everything as it is, there is immense intrinsic freedom to realizing we are not our feelings or thoughts. We're simply experiencing them.
Our thoughts don't have to dictate our feelings and emotions, and consciousness is already free of any problems we're trying to solve.
By building acceptance, we have a better chance of looking at the situation objectively and making informed decisions rather than acting out of impulse, which often does not end well.
Even for the brightest minds, when their investments are declining, they can fall prey to fear and frustration, which may lead to selling... usually at the bottom.
This happens because anxiety and fear constrict their aperture of our awareness. They are unable to see reality as it is. They let their animal instincts get the best of them.
However, if we are able to be more aware of how our thoughts, emotions and beliefs are shaping our world, we have a better chance at responding from a place of rational thought, limiting our emotions ability to mask reality.
For these bright minds above, the best decision as Nathan Rothschild once said, may have been to "buy when there's blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own." But this is not within their awareness while under emotional stress.
After acceptance, we move onto...
In this stage, we start to uncover why certain beliefs exist.
As highlighted above, for most, our beliefs around money stem from our upbringing. Although these beliefs may have provided some benefit back then, they may no longer serve us.
With this in mind, understanding why we have the beliefs we do can help us start processing and moving forward.
Some of the more common beliefs include:
Money is evil!
Don't talk about money!
If I am not saving, what am I doing?
I don't deserve money!
Once we identify the beliefs that impact us, we must look inward and understand where they came from.
I am willing to bet that, for most, our beliefs were ingrained by our parents. As a result, we can:
- Through understanding comes acceptance. Put ourselves in our parent's shoes. Why do you believe they have such beliefs? Many parents were raised in a very different world to the one we live in now. Although their beliefs may have served a purpose back then, that may no longer be the case.
- Reframe our beliefs by thinking about the message we wish we had received from our parents. For me, that message was that frugality has its advantages; however, it should not be at the expense of living.
By working through this two-step process, we can come to terms with why we have the beliefs we do but more importantly, we can move forward without resentment towards our parents as we realize their beliefs are simply a product of their environment and upbringing.
Lastly, we move on to...
Similar to the second stage, acceptance, the goal here is to be ok with the way things are.
Disappointment emerges in the gap between expectation and reality.
We let ourselves down when we set expectations that we do not meet. Therefore, although we should always strive to be the best we can be, removing attachment to outcomes through non-identification will assist us in working through times when we otherwise wouldn't live up to expectations.
Under the lens of money, non-attachment may be the recognition that it is unrealistic to expect to always come out on top as not every investment will be successful. Recognizing this and detaching from expectations gives us freedom, releasing us from any internal sense of failure when something doesn't go as planned.
For me, the process of RAIN allowed me to recognize that frugality often impaired my decision-making. I realized I was being frugal for frugality's sake. Although I am still conscious of how I spend my money, I no longer beat myself up when spending money on things that make a difference in my life i.e. I've come to accept that when it comes to high-quality food and education, money should not be a barrier.
To conclude, money impacts most of us in some way or another. With this in mind, I challenge you to do some personal digging. Through using the RAIN technique, notice what comes up around money:
- Recognize: Raise awareness of any feelings or sensations that arise around money.
- Acceptance: Feel any difficult feelings without judgment or shame. This allows us to make informed rather than impulsive decisions.
- Investigation: Dig into the series of events that lead to these beliefs.
- Non-identification: Detach from any expectations.
Thanks for taking the time to read this issue of The Qi of Self-Sovereignty. I hope you found it insightful.
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The future is bright!